I’m constantly intrigued, fascinated, and captivated by Italy. I have never been there, though I hope someday soon that will change, and yet I’m in love with the culture and the landscape. It’s a place, in other words, that calls to me. Frances Mayes’ memoir enabled me to deepen my understanding of the Tuscan landscape. Her descriptions or her time in Italy are written in the style of the landscape itself–the words linger and move slowly–it is writing to savor, as are her descriptions of food. She has quite a few recipes included (Baking for Bookworms heaven, I tell you), and they all conjure up such an irresistible place. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in Italy, or indeed Europe more broadly, who loves food, and appreciates labors of love.
A brief note: The book is very different from the movie (which I also thoroughly enjoyed and would recommend), so there’s plenty of new things to discover and appreciate.